A GROUND-BREAKING initiative has been launched to teach lifesaving skills to East Renfrewshire pupils.

Barrhead-based charity Include Me 2 Club (IM2C) is delivering the First Aid Ready programme, which offers youngsters vital lessons on what action to take during an emergency.

More than 20 students at Barrhead High have already taken part in the eight-week course, learning practical skills needed by first aiders in most workplaces.

They have been taught how to deal with first aid emergencies, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the use of defibrillators.

Daryl Campbell, project development worker at IM2C, told the Barrhead News: “First Aid Ready is a new scheme we are piloting at Barrhead High, with support from the PE department.

“The programme involves 50-minute sessions, run by myself and David Ness, one of Include Me 2 Club’s student volunteers who is carrying out his placement with us.

“We both have previous experience in delivering a similar first aid programme but, as we are leading this one, we have developed it on our own, with brand new content from reliable sources such as St Andrew’s First Aid and the British Red Cross.”

The project also takes first aid further by incorporating mental health into the programme.

Daryl added: “It is key for pupils to learn first aid but also about mental health, which is a taboo topic.

“I think what we are doing is ground-breaking and we are tying to roll it out to schools across East Renfrewshire.”

Barrhead High PE teacher Patricia Morrison said the course has proved popular with pupils.

“They are really enjoying it so far and are learning new skills each week,” she added.

“Daryl and David have been excellent and have the young people totally engaged.

“It will be of great benefit to the school and the local community to have so many young people trained in first aid. It also gives these young people a chance to achieve another qualification.”

Bosses at IM2C are also in talks to work alongside the Levern Valley Defibrillator Community Partnership, which has installed a number of public access defibrillators across Barrhead.

Paul McIlvenny, IM2C chairman, said: “We hope to eventually gain funding to roll-out the programme to primary and secondary schools across East Renfrewshire.
“Everyone should know first aid, as everyone may need it.”